Education and 21st Century Skills

Cambridge is rightly known for our excellent public school system, which combines a comprehensive academic curriculum with a robust arts program and an overarching commitment to the progressive values that we all hold dear. As your City Councillor, I will support the School Committee in its mission to ensure that every student, no matter their background,  is granted equal opportunity to excel.

In this respect, my priorities are to:

Provide funding for universal prekindergarten so that every child enters primary school with the preparation needed to thrive and grow.

Research indicates that disparities in early-childhood education are strongly predictive of  educational outcomes. Mental plasticity is highest in young children, and initial differences in aptitude and ability that are established early on by disparities in access to such programs are only exacerbated . If we do not invest in our children’s minds and futures as early as possible, we risk losing forever the opportunity to ensure equality of opportunity. Preschool, afterschool, childcare, and other enrichment programs should not be a luxury. I support not only allocating public funds toward this end, but also partnering with nonprofits and the private sector to provide enrichment and educational programs for children of all ages.

Create a unified Computer Science for All program to ensure that today’s children are prepared for tomorrow’s economy.

Cambridge is an education and high-technology hub, and the host to several regional headquarters of top tech companies. We are perfectly situated to provide age-appropriate computer science education at all grade levels and replicate the success of similar programs such as Rhode Island’s CS4RI.  Every child in Cambridge deserves to be equipped with the 21st-century skills they will need to succeed in our innovation economy.  I will work with the School Committee to help unify existing efforts and leverage city, university, and private sector resources to create a citywide computer science education program, one designed to engage with students regardless of their background, interests, and experience. Our economic competitiveness is partly based on workforce development, and our children--especially those from underserved backgrounds--should benefit more from the private sector growth in our city.

Ensure that our schools remain welcoming and inclusive environments for the whole of our diverse community.

It is crucial to address systemic racism, classism, and sexism as reflected in public school curricula and staffing and to create a culturally sensitive learning environment. All students, particularly those at CRLS, need to feel like they are learning about their own history, not merely the dominant historical narratives that center the voices and experiences of those who female students, LGBTQ+ students, and students of color may not necessarily identify with. I embrace the School Committee’s core values of inclusion, equity, and diversity, and stand with their significant efforts to uphold these essential principles. I applaud the School Committee’s focus on addressing racial, gender-based, and socioeconomic disparities in educational outcomes, and will support efforts to address the persistent achievement gap. I will work diligently to implement municipal broadband so that our children have equal opportunities to learn outside of the classroom.